Maranoa says Hands Off the GAB

Great Artesian Basin

Maranoa's newly elected Council has resoundingly objected to plans by mining giant Glencore.

Maranoa's newly elected Council has resoundingly objected to plans by mining giant Glencore to experiment with the health of the Great Artesian Basin, calling on the State Government to take decisive action to prevent the move.

Glencore, the foreign-owned mining giant, has proposed injecting 330,000 tonnes of liquid carbon dioxide over three years into the Great Artesian Basin, potentially threatening this public asset.

Council fears the proposal will lead to groundwater acidification and result in an increase in heavy metals such as arsenic and lead in the aquifer.

Mayor Wendy Taylor said that Maranoa Council is taking a stand against the company’s risky experiment and is calling on the State Government to intervene and protect the public gift that is the GAB.

“Maranoa's residents, local businesses and the agricultural economy all depend on the Great Artesian Basin as a vital asset,” Mayor Taylor said.

“Council is unanimous in objecting to Glencore’s application and is calling on the State Government to take a leadership role, and to step forward and put in place regulations to protect the Queensland component of the GAB from further proposals.”  

Mayor Taylor said Maranoa Council has serious concerns because of the extreme risks and the potential for irreversible consequences that is posed by Glencore's proposal.

She said Council supported and joined the efforts by the Local Government Association of Queensland, South West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, and the Queensland Farmers’ Federation to oppose the proposal.

“This proposed trial is the first of its kind involving the GAB and we have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence underpinning the project and no confidence that this water producing aquifer and the GAB will be protected.”

Mayor Taylor called on residents to voice their own opposition also, with the Queensland Farmers' Federation running a petition that will be presented to Parliament to show the broad community opposition to the scheme.

The GAB is one of the largest underground freshwater resources in the world. It generates approximately $13 billion in value to the national economy every year and is a vital resource for 180,000 people, 7,600 businesses and 120 towns.

This natural resource is not only heavily relied upon by agriculture but is also the lifeblood of multiple industries and rural communities. The biodiversity supported by the GAB is incredible and the environmental value of this natural asset immeasurable.

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